So I just got back from quite a party filled weekend.

On Saturday night I went to a superhero themed party (there were 4 different Supermans) and on Sunday I went to this amazing 1920s themed picnic, which got me thinking all about one of my favorite parts of college, the theme party.

You’ve seen movies and TV and heard all about college parties. But one thing they tend to forget is that most, if not all, college parties have themes to them.

Since I am a big fan of dressing up (for literally any and all reasons) here are some of my favorite party themes, and how to dress for them.

Riding the subway dressed as a flapper... Priceless

Riding the subway dressed as a flapper… Priceless

The Great Fratsby
This is a pretty common theme on my campus, the 1920s party.

If you’re a girl, any dropwaisted dress and a headband will give you a flapper vibe.

Men, stuff like bowties, suspenders, and suits all work for this theme. This is also one of the only appropriate occasions to wear a fedora.

Shop at: Goodwill, Forever 21

Red(neck) Wine and Cheese


Get country, this is a redneck party. Be ready for trashy outfits, and boxed wine. This theme once involved helping a girl in my freshman hall draw on a sharpie tramp-stamp.

Boys and girls, go as extreme as you can. Wear camo, jorts, cut offs, and sleeveless shirts. Bellys hanging out are par for the course.

Shop at: Walmart, Goodwill.

Risky Business

As in that Tom Cruise classic.

From TFM

From TFM

White Shirt, Black Boxers/Shorts (if you don’t want tighty whities), sunglasses, and socks.

Remember to wear real shoes, and be careful with that white shirt (white at a party is, dare I say it, risky business).

Shop at: Goodwill


That college classic. If you don’t end up chanting “toga toga toga” by the end of the night, you’re doing it wrong.

Use your spare sheets or some extra fabric, don’t buy anything new. White isn’t necessary. If you want to wear a wreath, check out the craft store.

Shop at: Your bedroom


From Tumblr

From Tumblr

So you may have seen, on facebook, pictures of girls wearing dresses made of table cloths and duct tape. Well, this is for one of those tricky themes, Anything But Clothes.

Where to shop: The dollar store or party city.

Buy cheap materials and don’t be afraid to get creative. And above all: WEAR SOMETHING UNDERNEATH. If your costume falls apart, have a backup.


Anything and “Sluts”

So I haven’t run across this theme at my school, but my friends assure me that this is a real thing. “Army bros and Navy hoes” or “CEOs and office hoes” are real party themes that some people try to get away with.

What to wear: Sweatpants, you’re staying in tonight, because that theme is degrading to women and not worth your time.

Did I leave out your favorite theme? Is there a cryptic party code you just can’t crack? Tell us all about it in the comments.

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the author

Jillian is better known by her pseudonym “CollegeApp Chick", which is half college application blog and half small private college advising business. She’s currently studying Psychology and Religious Studies at a small public school south of the Mason Dixon line. When not advising, studying, or blogging Jillian is an active member of the Shakespeare theatre club, sandbox improv, women’s chorus, and is an officer in a social sorority. She likes to talk, a lot. Most importantly, Jillian wears dresses more than 250 days a year. For more of Jillian’s tips, find her at her website or her Tumblr.

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  1. Jasmin on August 25, 2013

    literally just laughed my ass off at that last line.

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